When Can A Landlord Use A Security Deposit?

When Can A Landlord Use A Security Deposit?

There are laws and legal rights that govern how to rent a home. They need to be known by both tenants and landlords. Some of these laws will relate to the times a landlord is able to use a security deposit.

A lot of the time, tenants pay their deposit and then assume they’ll get it back at the end of their lease; they might even make plans on that assumption. However, there are circumstances in which a landlord can use a security deposit – read on to find out what they are.

Unpaid Rent

Tenants may not be able to pay rent for many different reasons. But even though some things are out of their control, missing or not paying rent is a good reason why they shouldn’t get some or all of their deposit back.

Many landlords would rather take money from the tenant’s security deposit than give them a Section 21 eviction notice. If your tenant owes more than the amount of the deposit, you can go to court and ask for the full amount to be paid back. This will cost you money in legal fees, so you’ll need to figure out if it’s worth it from a financial point of view.

Cleaning Issues

When it comes to tenancy deposit disputes, cleaning can be a big point of contention between landlords and tenants. This is mostly because we all have different ideas about what is “clean.”

But it’s a common reason why a deposit is taken out. For example, if the tenant agreed in the lease that they would pay for a professional carpet cleaning after having pets in the home, they must keep this agreement. If they don’t, the landlord can use a security deposit to pay for the cleaning. 

Bad Redecoration

If a tenant decides to redecorate the place without asking first, they may be breaking the terms of their lease. So, you might be able to take money from their deposit to fix up the room and get it back to how it was before. If you let a tenant redecorate but they do a bad job, you can also claim the cost of redecorating.

Serious Damage

Damage to the property, like broken windows or broken furniture, goes against the terms of the tenancy agreement. Because of this, landlords can use a security deposit to pay. But keep in mind that this can’t be considered normal wear and tear.

How Can An Inventory Help?

It’s fine to say that these are some of the circumstances in which a landlord can use a security deposit to pay for the problems caused by a tenant, but the burden of proof is on the landlord – they have to show that the problem occurred after the tenant moved in.

That’s why it’s so important to have a thorough, professional inventory report. This will show the condition of the property before the tenant moved in, allowing the landlord to prove any damage, neglect, or cleaning issues were down to the tenant.

Contact Looksy Inventories today to find out more.

Call Now ButtonCall Now